Cinchona - Very Useful Herb for Many Health Problems


Cinchona succiruba Rubiaceae.

A Native of South America, cillcholla grows to over 20m tall. It has , elliptical leaves, with reddish and bright pink flowers. While the inner layer is reddish brown.Jesuit missionaries dis cinlchona's potent antimalarial properties in the 17th century and for years had a monopoly onáthe drug , which became knownáas Jcsuit's bark'.

Parts used

  • Bark
  • The bark is collected in autumn from trees that are over six years old.
  • Once dried, the bark is broken up and used for tinctures, dry extracts decoctions and medicinal wine.


Alkaloids, mostly quinine and quinidine, make up 5-15 per cent of cinchona bark. It also contains about 8 per cent tannins and considerable amounts of the bitter quinovin.

Medicinal uses

C. succiruba is one of several species of cinchona from which quinine, a potent antimalarial is extracted. Quinine and quinidine are also antispasmodic, making the bark potentially useful for treating muscle cramps as well. Recent Australian rf)t 3rch, however, stresses that this may cause bleeding under the skin. ThE alkaloid quinidine is used In conventional medicine to correct heart beat irregularities.

The bitter quinovin in cinchona bark stimulates gastric secretions and helps to improve the appetite. This tonic effect makes cinchona useful for treating nervous exhaustion, fevers and flu. It is often combined with other fever-fighting plants such as willow and meadowsweet.

Cinchona bark is also antibacterial and its tannins help to heal broken skin. It is used externally for healing scabs, bedsores and wounds.


Never take cinchona at the same time as anticoagulant drugs, as it reinforces their effect.
Do not take cinchona during pregnancy or if you are allergic to quinine and quinidine.


For internal use

TO TREAT indigestion, lack of appetite, nervous exhaustion TINCTURE (1:5 in 25% alcohol) Add 2-4ml to a glass of water. Drink three times a day. MEDICINAL WINE Drink 1-2 tablespoons, three times a day.

TO TREAT fevers, influenza DECOCTION Put O.5g of finely cut bark into a cup of water. Boil for 3 minutes, then infuse for 10 minutes and sweeten to taste. Drink 3 cups a day, half an hour before meals.

For external use

TO TREAT scabs, bedsores and stabilised wounds
DECOCTION Put 30g chopped bark into 1 litre water. Boil for 5 minutes. Use to wash affected areas once or twice a day.



Cinchona should be grown in a greenhouse in the UK or as a pot plant on a sunny windowsill.


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